At least 25 people were injured in a blast in the air-condition’s compressor pipe at the emergency ward of Sir Sunder Lal (SSL) Hospital at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) on Saturday.
Such was the impact of the blast that the false ceiling came down and window panes broke, causing injury to the patients and hospital staff present in the ward. A nursing staff member, a doctor and two ward boys were among those injured.
Some of the patients, who were admitted to the ward, sustained serious injuries in the blast. Twelve patients were shifted to new emergency ward created in a building on the SSL premises, soon after the incident and 15 others were taken to the trauma centre. Of them, two have been kept in the intensive care unit and one at the same unit at the SSL hospital.
According to eyewitnesses, AC’s compressor went off near nursing counter of the ward at 12.45 pm, causing massive damage. The blast followed a suffocating gas that caused trouble to the patients.
Eyewitness Rajesh Singh, a patient who was admitted to the ward, said, “All of sudden, I heard a deafening sound and then saw a false ceiling’s slab falling. Subsequently, I heard crackling sound of widow glasses and pieces of tiny glasses in air. A few hit my ankle. Later, smoke was all around in the ward, causing trouble in breathing.”
Ashwini Singh, another eyewitness, suffered injury near his chest after a piece of slab hit him. After the incident, SSL hospital superintendent Dr OP Upadhyay was first to reach the spot. He immediately informed senior officials about the incident and the patients were evacuated.
Among those who suffered serious injuries include security guard Ramashray Prasad, staff nurse Seema Singh, ward boy Sandeep, and sister Sushma Reeta Lal of the hospital.
Fifteen patients, who were admitted to the emergency ward, were also injured. They were rushed to the trauma centre. Of them, one Parameshwari Devi has been kept in ICU at the trauma centre.
Although there was no fire, fire tenders were called. The national disaster response force (NDRF) team also reached there. Forensic experts rushed to the site and collected samples. Anti-terrorist squad (ATS) cops also carried out inspection at the place. A police team from Lanka police station also rushed to the place after getting information and started a probe into the incident.
Medical superintendent OP Upadhyay told Hindustan Times that operations at the emergency ward would resume after repair work was completed there.
“The emergency services have been temporarily shifted to another facility at the hospital,” he said. Upadhyay further said the incident was being investigated from all angles. Union culture minister Mahesh Sharma also visited the hospital to inquire about the condition of patients.
With inputs from agencies